"Hey, will you hold this for a sec?" the fear in his eyes was palpable, yet something inside of me moved my hand to reach for the sleek, inky box. Call it trust, call it naïveté, the promise of "a sec" lingered in the air as the man disappeared from where he stood, the only trace of him, the slight scent of amber wood. Welp, guess I finally developed full-on schizophrenia, I thought to myself.
I stood there, dumbfounded, in the middle of a busy sidewalk, holding this mysterious, surprisingly heavy, thing with both hands as I tried to make eye contact with anyone who passed by to confirm that I had, in fact, not gone crazy; that someone else, too, had seen a man pop in and out of our visual reality as if it were a video game.
Now, what to do with the box?
I couldn't stand here forever, I had to get to class. But, I also had sorta kinda promised that dude, in the act of taking the box, that I would hold onto it for a bit. Ah-ha! He told me to hold the box, but what he didn't tell me was whether I had to stay in the same place... At least, that would be my argument if he showed up, angry at my having left the place of our first meeting.
Ok, going to class with a mysterious, possibly explosive box-- totally not gonna blow up in my face. I chucked to myself at my accidental pun, then suddenly remembered the look on that guy's face. He was afraid. Running from something? Afraid he was gonna get caught with the box? Ah shit! I looked down at my watch, which glowed the numbers 12:55-- I was gonna be late.